DALLAS (AP) — A white Dallas police officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her unarmed, black neighbor in his home.
The jury sentenced Amber Guyger on Wednesday. Guyger was convicted of murder Tuesday in the September 2018 killing of her upstairs neighbor, Botham Jean. The victim’s younger brother, Brandt Jean, told Guyger during his victim impact statement that he forgave her.
“I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want for you,” he said. “I love you as a person and I don’t want to wish anything bad on you.” He then went on to hug Guyger, an embrace that lasted around 30 seconds.
In Texas, a murder sentence can range from five years to life in prison, but the judge also instructed jurors on a so-called sudden passion defense, which carries a range of 2-20 years behind bars.
Guyger was still dressed in her police uniform after a long shift when she shot Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. She was fired from the force and charged with murder.
Guyger testified that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below, and that she thought he was a burglar in her home.